Respect vs Courtesy

Originally posted January 5, 2019.

I posted this on LinkedIn, but I think it has relevance here to, in the SCA and non-corporate life.

Respect vs Courtesy

I frequently see people say that we should always treat other people with Respect and at the same time, I frequently see people say that Respect is earned. It seems to me that this is because people are using the word “respect” in two different ways, and in one of those ways, we really should be using the word Courtesy instead.

Courtesy is something granted anyone I meet. It’s being polite. It’s being kind. It’s doing things like learning preferred pronouns and using them, or working to pronounce a name properly. Speaking to someone disrespectfully is really speaking to them with dis-courteousness.

Respect is earned. It’s the product of a relationship. It’s not that I don’t respect you, I just don’t know you yet. So as I get to know you, I will (hopefully) begin to respect you. That means that I will share things with you that I don’t share with people I don’t know.

If I had to put them on a kind of a timeline of a relationship, a positive one would go something like this:

Courtesy —> Respect —> Trust

How Can the SCA Do Better?

Originally published January 1, 2019.

So it seems to me that there are two big issues facing the SCA right now:

1) problematic behavior, such as but not exclusively: sexual harassment and bigotry related to race, gender, orientation, gaslighting, etc.
2) the behavior we see when someone’s problematic behavior is called out – IE, calling a POC a bigot when they call for the SCA to boycott a hotel that promotes or allows racist behavior from its staff.

I am generally an in your face kind of guy about both of these kinds of behaviors. But a good worker has lots of tools in the toolbox. So many of you here on my friends list don’t like it that the SCA doesn’t seem to have a good plan for combating racism or gaslighting. The anti-discrimination policy doesn’t appear to have much by way of teeth.

What are ways we can push the SCA to take a more enlightened stance on these issues? How do we enable the SCA to do better?